GRACE MEETS POWER
Many different mascots have featured on the bonnets of Jaguars since the company was founded by Sir William Lyons, nearly 75 years ago. Here, we look at the origins and evolution of the Jaguar leaper.
Unofficial mascots from the 1930s. Sir William disapproved of these and commissioned an official Jaguar ‘leaper’ soon afterwards.
The first official Jaguar leaper, designed by the automotive artist F Gordon Crosby. It was supplied to owners as an optional extra, costing two pounds and two shillings. Since it was created more than 70 years ago, only small design evolutions have changed the look of the leaper, proving how beautiful and modern the original was.
A rare leaper from the Jaguar Mark I. The Jaguar has changed from a crouched position to one featuring outstretched back legs. Sir William also wanted the cat’s ‘angle of attack’ to be increased from its original position, so, for the initial production batch, a wedge of metal was placed under the base.
Further production batches included a redesigned base, but used the same leaper. These were used on Jaguar Mark I, Mark II, XK150, S-type and 420 models from 1955 to 1968.
A leaper used on the Jaguar Mark X and 420G.
A ‘spring-back’ leaper used for the US market. Today, due to regulatory reasons, bonnet leapers are only available as an accessory in certain markets, but the leaper will always be a significant part of Jaguar’s identity. On the XF and the all new XJ a leaper takes centre stage in the middle of the boot lid.